Even though most craftsmen prefer investing in a cordless drill due to its extreme versatility, an impact driver is also worthy of consideration, given how efficient it is at making myriad tasks simple. So, how do the two differ, and what makes the latter worth it? For one, it has a quick-release, spring-loaded chuck, unlike a drill. Unless you’re working on a job that doesn’t require driving long screws in the wood, a good impact driver is a must-have. However, choosing the best beginner impact driver is a daunting task, especially if you’ve never worked with a certain range of tools before. Hence, this list is dedicated to helping you step foot into the world of woodworking and determine what it is that you need from an impact driver.
6 Best Beginner Impact Drivers
1. Milwaukee M18 FUEL SURGE
Beginners often find it hard to deal with the piercing noise of a machine driving screws into a wooden object. This is why this M18 Surge has managed to make it to the top of the list. First of all, it does a great job at eliminating metal-on-metal contact, which consequently reduces the intensity of the noise. Moreover, it also doesn’t require much torque, which makes it efficient at driving tough fasteners fast. Overall, there’s a self-tapping screw mode and three different speed settings, which make this machine stand out from the crowd. This isn’t it. It also features an LED light to help illuminate your space of work.
2. Kobalt XTR Max
Kobalt’s XTR Max is slightly more advanced in terms of how well it assists driving mode. At the same time, it also provides great value for money. Since it comes with three different speed modes, it’s perfectly capable of suiting your needs. Even in terms of the lag bolts, it’s found to be quite competent as it strains for the task appropriately. An additional feature to appreciate is the battery level indicator that often comes with slightly pricey models but is completely worth it for a beginner and a professional alike. Make sure to evaluate your workspace beforehand because the tool head tends to be slightly large to fit.
3. Ryobi One+ HP
This affordable drill driver kit is one of the handiest tools a woodworker can ask for. Not only does it save you from switching bits back and forth on tasks that need both, but it is also suited to accomplishing a wide variety of tasks, despite being a relatively basic option on the list. Through its 1700 inch-pounds of torque and 18 volts, it can drive lag bolts and long fasteners without pilot holes. Then there’s the speed trigger that helps you manage RPMs effectively. However, the quick-release chuck is still worthy of further evaluation since most consumers find it to be a little awkward in the beginning. There’s a good chance that it performs well on some bits and not the others, but that still doesn’t stop it from being the best beginner impact driver.
4. Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Impact Driver
One of the biggest downsides to purchasing powerful impact drivers is, nonetheless, the size. This means that even if they’re smaller than most drills, most impact drivers, especially the heavy-duty ones, tend to be hard to wield in tight or cramped spaces. Hence, sometimes it’s important to trade some power for a smaller footprint as it will not only help you fit the machine in well, but it will also get the job done easily. Furthermore, this Milwaukee M12’s design also allows you to operate it easily in awkward or cramped spaces as it just requires you to use a right-angled head to move past obstacles. However, the fact that it doesn’t include a battery can play out against its favor, as you will most likely have to purchase it separately unless you own a 12-volt compatible battery.
5. BLACK+DECKER BDCDMT120IA 20-Volt Max Drill/Impact Combo Driver
A smart purchase is one that saves you effort and time tremendously. This is why a tool that handles different tasks efficiently is much better than the one that does only one job well. Hence, this BLACK+DECKER BDCDMT120IA multi-tool does a wonderful job when compared to most typical kits. For one, its swappable attachment system can fit on the same base. Then, it is also known for delivering up to 800 RPM of speed and 1375 inch-pounds of torque. Additionally, it also offers more attachments such as a jigsaw and an orbital sander in its pricier Matrix Quick Connect System, which effortlessly makes it the best beginner impact driver in the market.
6. DEWALT DCK240C2 20-Volt Max Combo Kit
This combo kit, by far, represents the best of DEWALT’s tool line. With an impact driver and a drill, this kit has what it takes to cover your fastening needs around the yard as well as the house. The best feature of these devices is the compatibility with hex shanks and the handles designed ergonomically. Moreover, the charger that comes with the kit is fast enough to charge the 20-volt battery in a few hours. If you’re someone who lacks the room to maneuver, then this kit is surely going to be your best investment since it’s compact in size and also amazing for situations where it’s difficult to reach fasteners. Apart from the charger, it also comes with a handy carrying bag.
Our Final Thoughts
It’s safe to conclude that an impact driver has a lot more rotational force than most power drills. In fact, it’s the go-to tool for building several items such as decks, swing sets, and much more, thanks to the strong torque that helps drive large screws into tough materials easily. However, before you make your pick for the best beginner impact driver, make sure to evaluate the overall value, weight, ease of use, and of course, power.
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